DIY: Electrical Spool Stools

8.22.2011

As an elementary teacher,  I'm always spending money on my classroom in the fall. Anything I can do to save money is a must. When a friend and I walked by a pile of electrical spools sitting outside our newly rewired building, we started racking our brains for how we could use them. We came up with a plan to turn them into stools for our classroom reading nooks. Buying bean bags every couple years can get expensive, so I was definitely up for a cheaper option.  

DIY Spool Stool Instructions
1. Spray paint stool.
2. Cut circles from foam pad in varying sizes.
3. Cut fabric in circles that measure at least 4 inches bigger than the largest foam circle.
4. Stretch fabric over foam and staple to the stool. (If using a clock face as a reference, staple at 12, 3, 6, and 9 first. Then fill in staples.)
5. Trim any extra fabric with scissors. Glue decorative ribbon or trim onto fabric.
TOTAL COST: $24
                         [$8 fabric + $2 ribbon + $4 spray paint + $10 foam mattress pad]

I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. They ended up reminding me a bit of Luigi's toad stool. (Think old school Nintendo circa 1989.) I just hope they hold up to twenty-something 5th graders fighting over them (sweating on them, throwing them, licking them...This list could go on and on.) Click HERE to check out my entire classroom makeover!

33 comments:

  1. Wow! So cute! Perfect for a classroom!

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  2. Fantastic, they will love it and probably the stools will become the fave hangout in the classroom!

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  3. Awesome! I think they look great, and yes a little like that toad guy :) Good luck with your upcoming school year! We would love to see you link this up at our link up parties, we have one every Tuesday and one every Sunday! Or link up to both ;) Hope to see you there.
    Britney
    www.jandmseyecandy.blogspot.com

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  4. What a great idea! They turned out so cute! I hope you will share this on my Delight Me party over at Doodles & Doilies!

    http://doodlesanddoilies.blogspot.com

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  5. These turned out great!! I remember pretending these spools were wheelchairs when I was a kid=)

    Nice work finding a creative use for them!!

    -Adriane @fruitfulhomejournal.blogspot.com

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  6. So cute! They remind me of toadstools too.

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  7. Those are soooo cool! Seriously, I want these. Your students must love them!

    http://growcreative.blogspot.com/

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  8. Thanks ladies! I'll be posting some more classroom projects tomorrow. Today was a 14 hour work day, so blogging isn't getting my best tonight:( I appreciate all your great feedback.

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  9. Wow! Brilliant project! You can also make a tiny table using the spool as the stand. Just find a round and flat top on it.

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  10. So cute! Can't wait to see the pictures! Have a great 1st day at your new school! xo

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  11. I totally thought of Toadstool when I saw these! They are awesome :-)

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  12. I have seen tables at Ballard where they wrap the stem with rope. I have been wanting to try it.

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  13. Thanks ladies! Jen-that's a great idea. The larger spools would make perfect tables for a backyard dinner party.

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  14. Luigi's toadstool was always the best, it meant and extra life, and for how good I was at that game I definitely need them. I laughed to myself when I saw these pieces not because they are funny, but more like the laughing in disbelief at how clever you are. I love them:)

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  15. Those are so cute. What a great idea! I love the polka dots. So fresh and happy.

    I am a new follower from the ABC and 123 Show and Tell Blog Hop. If you have a moment please come by http://messforless.blogspot.com and say hi.
    Thanks!

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  16. Thanks Julia:) Glad I'm good for a laugh. Vicky, thanks for stopping by. I'm heading your way now!

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  17. Love how this turned out. BRAVO!

    I wanted to let you know that I've got a great giveaway that ends Friday. It's for $100 to wallquotes.com, and trust me they've got something I know you'll love!

    Stop by and enter ASAP. I'd love to see what you would do with their products! See you soon!

    Artie
    http://niagaranovice.blogspot.com

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  18. Check out my blog posting on making an end table/ Ottoman out of an electrical spool.
    http://thethriftyneedle.wordpress.com/2011/07/18/crazy-patched-stool/
    This particular one was in a designer shop and was so comfortable.
    I like what you did for your class!
    Terri

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  19. Great idea! They look so cute. Wonderful upcycling :)

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  20. Gaaaahhh so cute. I can't get over it. Xo, Katie

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  21. I have one of these electrical spools and am going to give it a try...thanks for the idea!

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  22. I absolutely love this...any idea where i could find some of these spools? I really want to make these for my classroom!

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  23. I happened to get lucky with mine, but I've suggested that others check with your local hardware store. I know that wires and cables come shipped to them on spools. Maybe they'd be willing ot part with some?

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  24. These are also great for coffee and side tables! Etsy has options!

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  25. Oooh, I didn't even THINK to try Etsy. Thanks!

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  26. I really want to make these......I'm on the lookout for spools in the Dallas TX area....so if you know of any send me an email please.....
    tillisont@gmail.com

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  27. thanks for the idea i have a TON of these spools and needed ideas for them i hate just throwing them away

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    1. if anyone needs any and is in oklahoma let me know im on face book Toni Chiusano

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  28. Hi Heather! What is the core of the spool made of? I have a few spools now but the core is cardboard. Have they held up to student use? Your look great and I can't wait to give mine a try! Thanks. :)

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    1. The tops are particle board, but the core is just a heavy duty card board. They held up two years for 5th graders, so for younger kids they'd probably last even longer!

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